Nobody’s perfect, so perfection should never be the expectation, only progress. Progress fuels a company to greater heights in business, profits, and in their respective industry. This being said, let’s talk about human error.
Mistakes will happen. This is a fact. But the consequence of human error is misinformation. Information fuels our decision making, perception of status, and procedures. Data entry errors, incorrect inputs, misplaced information: we’ve seen it all. We have made a living combating human error by working with the cause of human error. We learn by making mistakes, but we also can learn from why mistakes happen in the first place. Some causes of human error include stress, monotony, and holes in the workflow.
Organized chaos may work for some offices or it could end up working against the natural office culture. Constant and continuous stress can mentally train employees to expect these conditions, but it doesn’t remove the potential for error from the situation.
On the opposite end of the spectrum the work is slower- paced or repetitive and feeds monotonous. Focus fails in the face of monotony. Focus is a muscle that needs to be flexed and exercised through the course of a day and naturally combats human error. Then there is the ultimate cause for human error: a hole in the workflow. Holes in the workflow are either a natural cause of the operation itself or due to human neglect (someone isn’t doing their job).
So how do we fight these causes of error? Identify. First and foremost, any operation must be able to take a step back and analyze their goals, strategy, and their process to figure out where they are going astray. Analyze your workflow to make sure it’s still working for you and you aren’t working for it.
Then, freshen it up. Shake things up a bit and try a new process or way of doing things. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it will end up guiding you to seeing what works and keeping everyone fresh on their feet. Whatever shakes out will make your business and you operation better in the long term.
If this is done once every other quarter, your business operations should be in good shape. To this point we embrace the idea that mistakes happen, but how we learn from them is the pinnacle of the experience.